Intel's Xeon W-3175X is a 28-Core Workstation Monster

Subject: Processors | January 30, 2019 - 08:13 PM |
Tagged: xeon, workstation, W-3175X, processor, Intel, cpu

Officially unveiled back in October, Intel's newly-launched Xeon W-3175X processor is now available from system integrators, and it is far more extreme than the Xeon name might indicate.

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The Xeon W-3175X in action (image via Intel)

Here is a look at the specs from Intel:

  • Base Clock Speed: 3.1 GHz
  • Maximum Single Core Turbo Frequency: 4.3 GHz
  • Cores/Threads: 28/56
  • TDP: 255W
  • Intel Smart Cache: 38.5 MB
  • Unlocked: Yes
  • Platform PCIE Lanes: Up to 68
  • Memory Support: Six Channels, DDR4-2666
  • Standard RAS Support: Yes
  • ECC Support: Yes
  • RCP Pricing (USD 1K): $2,999

This unlocked 28-core/56-thread CPU offers a base clock speed of 3.1 GHz and Turbo of up to 4.3 GHz (single-thread), and that level of performance comes with a 255-watt TDP. In fact a special cooler from Asetek was also announced today which was developed with Intel for this CPU.

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Image credit: Asetek

And while a $3000 price tag is obviously not going to drive this into mainstream adoption, this processor only being offered through system integrators at this time, and is aimed at the high-end workstation segment. As to performance, there are some day-one reviews out there from GamersNexus, AnandTech, and PC World, among others, and the consensus seems to be that this is an impressive performer, with particular workload the key to performance relative to competing options such as AMD's Threadripper 2990WX (which currently sells for $1730).

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Image credit: PC World

We don't have the answers yet about about total platform costs with motherboard pricing currently an unknown, and (more importantly) system integrators the only way to obtain it, but performance in Adobe CS applications alone will likely make this attractive to content creators at the very least.

Source: Intel

February 1, 2019 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Coupe

Processor MHz is not what Intel showed at the reveal. Intel completely deceptive about this part, availability and release date. Needs a special coolers because the power consumption is so ridiculous. Wonder how much the cooler costs. Is better in a few workloads but mostly similar to Threadripper. There is literally going to be barely any availability. Motherboard suspected to cost over $1000, and there is no criticism from this site regarding this chip. Seems like there is some influence from Intel... I wonder why.

February 2, 2019 | 01:42 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

If you didn’t notice we were not one of the sites sampled, so I can only look at benchmark results at places like Gamers Nexus and AnandTech the same as anyone else for this launch. Since what I am reading is positive (performance not pricing) I have no reason to criticize the product itself, but I would want to do my own testing before being critical anyhow.

My take is simple: it seems to perform well (again, zero hands on time) and it’s also very expensive. Not just for the CPU but for the total platform. The Asetek cooler is $399 itself, and I’m sure the motherboards will be pricey.

If nothing else this launch makes Threadripper optimization even more relevant, and we have seen Dynamic Local Mode vs. Coreprio results that make TR even more compelling than it is just on cost alone compared to this new Xeon. TR has this beat on core count and price, but the fact that only half of the cores have direct memory access means scheduling and app optimization matter more on the AMD side than they do for Intel.

And Intel has zero input on content here. It’s an easy thing to say, and not exactly something I haven’t heard, but I want insults directed at me and my track record please. I serve the readers, and if I didn’t have a chance to do that here I wouldn’t have taken this job. I can only speak for myself, and I am accountable for every benchmark I publish and everything I write.

February 2, 2019 | 01:26 PM - Posted by NoConsumerVariantsCompetesWithXeonOrEpyc (not verified)

"If nothing else this launch makes Threadripper optimization even more relevant"

No the Total Cost of Ownership of this Xeon W-3175X and motherboard platform, inculding the cooling solution, makes a dual Epyc 7371 in a dual socket SP3 motherboard configuration a better deal.

The Threadripper/TR4 MB platform is non vetted/certified for ECC usage across all types of ECC DIMM options so that's not going to compete with Xeon that is fully vetted and certified for ECC variants, ditto for TR compared to Epyc/SP3 MBs.

So a dual socket Epyc/SP3 motherboard can be had for around $550-$750 range and 2, Epyc 7371 16 core SKUs are costing in the $3100 Dollars range but the Epyc/SP3's lower MB pricing more than offsets that extra $100 in CPU pricing. Any Dual socket Epyc/SP3 MB is going to offer 16 memory channels at 8 memory channels per socket.

So there is the option of populating the 16(One DIMM per memory channel on the lower cost Epyc/SP3 MBs) avaliable DIMM slots with more of the lower cost 4GB-8GB ECC DIMMs and still have 64 to 128GB of total system memory to work with. Add to that the 128 PCIe lanes and the fully vetted for all the ECC memory types Epyc/SP3 motherboards and for some workloads having 16 memory channels and the memory bandwidth that comes with it is definitely going to help.

So that's 3.10GHz base, 3.60GHz all core and 3.8GHz max for the Epyc 7371 without the need for exotic cooling at high cost. The 7371 in dual socket configuration is also going to support 128MB of L3 cache across 32(2 16 core CPUs) cores on 2 scokets. And that amounts to less worries about any sorts of cache thrashing or excessive Infinity Fabric traffic and the added latency for that and any memory accesses also. Having that much L3 cache shared among the 32 cores will increase the chances that the needed code/data will be in the L3 and not all the way out in main memory.

The Epyc system is still not going to beat the overclocked Xeon in some workloads so there will be those Stock Traders and some others that will be going with this Xeon option. But for rendering that Epyc 7371 is going to be fine and any workloads that can benifit from 16 memory channels and the total bandwidth that it provides will favor the Epyc 7371 based option at a lower total system cost.

For those that need a little more memory there are Dual Socket Epyc/SP3 motherboards that offer 16 memory channels at 2 DIMMs per channel for a total of 32 DIMM slots that can be populated with the lower cost ECC memory DIMMs also and net twice the total available memory of 128GB-256GB across 32 DIMM slots. So the more DIMM slots available the more the user is able to access the lower capacity/low cost ECC DIMMs and use that to populate the DIMM slots. Low capacity ECC DIMM options can save hundreds of dollars if not more.

More savings can be had for the dual socket Epyc system by going with dual EPYC 7351s(around $1100-$1200 each) or the Epyc 7301s(Around $800-$900 each) but that's at much lower clocks than the Epyc 7371. And going any lower on the 7000 series totem pole than the 7301 will cost half the L3 cache allotment.

And also any website reporting on the Xeon that does not go and obtain the full processor specifications are not serving their readers interests in the least. List at least as much information as the Intel ARK website provides and try and get the actuall processor data sheets also if possible. This Xeon is also going to have to have any RAID Key requirements reported also along with any other product segementation issues that cost extra to enable.

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